REIGNING British and All-Ireland kickboxing champion, Mary McCauley announced she will hang up her gloves after this Saturday’s Maiden City Fight Night II at the Everglades Hotel.
There will be four major titles up for grabs in the Westbank Kickboxing Club promotion, including Mary’s WKA 67kg Celtic title clash with Tipperary’s Regina Fanning.
And Mary promises to go out with a bang, adding that Celtic title to her impressive list of honours in the sport.
Her brother, Jonathan is also on the bill as he takes on Thomas Harvey for the WKA N. Ireland title and Mary is hoping it will be a special night for the McCauley household.
“Every home show is a big one for me because you obviously have the pressure of fighting in front of your home crowd,” said Mary.
“And the Celtic title is a really good title to finish my kickboxing career with so I’m looking forward to the night.
“It’s better to finish off on a high when you’re still at your best instead of leaving it too late and then if you get beat all your achievements are tainted a little bit.
“I’ve won every competition we have in Ireland,” she added.
“It would be really great if my brother and I made it a clean sweep of titles on the night and brought the Celtic and N. Ireland titles back to the McCauley house,” she smiled.
It would be really great if my brother and I made it a clean sweep of titles on the night and brought the Celtic and N. Ireland titles back to the McCauley house. And the Celtic title is a really good title to finish my kickboxing career with.Mary McCauley
Still at the top of her game, why then has she decided to call it a day?
“Well I’m 35 years-old now with two children and I’m trying to balance a job and training which is a lot,” she explained.
“Plus there’s not much more to win at this stage so I would rather just finish on a high.”
Mary’s daughter, Naimh has also taken to the sport so she hopes to have much more time to spend helping her fine-tune her skills.
“My daughter’s started training as well so it would be good to just step back and watch her progress and maybe even turn my hand to coaching at the club.
“I’ve been really lucky because my coach, China Coyle is such a good, smart coach and he tailors our training for individual fighters, so when you’re fighting he’s smart enough to read your opponent really quick and help you react.
“He’s probably got a lot to do with my success as well.”
It certainly won’t be easy for Mary on Saturday and she knows she will have to be at her very best if she’s to defeat the talented Fanning of Thurles Kickboxing Club.
“She’s the IKF champion at the weight below me,” explained Mary.
“She has had two fights shown on TV and she’s fought in France so she’s a very formidable opponent.
“But on the night I trust myself and my coach and I’m sure there will be a good crowd so hopefully it will be our night.”
Meanwhile, Westbank Kickboxing coach, China Coyle believes Derry’s fight fans are in for a treat at Saturday night’s Maiden City Fight Night II with four top class title fights down for decision on the night.
Brother and sister Mary and Jonny McCauley will compete for titles while Coyle’s son Michael will also feature prominently on the bill.
“We have four title fights and a packed undercard,” confirmed Coyle. “We have fighters coming from all over Ireland.
“Mary McCauley is going for the Celtic title. We have Michael Morrow going for the N. Ireland heavyweight title. Jonny McCauley is fighting for the middleweight title and Michael Coyle is going for a 57kg N. Ireland title as well.
“This will be Mary’s last full contact fight. She’s retiring from full contact kickboxing after this one. Her brother Jonny is also fighting for a title on the night so we have a bit of kickboxing history with a brother and sister going for N. Ireland titles on the same night.
“She’s the British champion, the International Kickboxing Federaton All Ireland champion. She’s the Irish kickboxing Federation champion, the WKU world champion and now she’s hoping to finish off with the Celtic title.”
Coyle is confident the show will attract a huge turnout on Saturday.
“We’ve had shows out at the Everglades before and they always look after us. They always support the show well and we’re also getting a lot of support from local businesses like Blast Fitness, Masons Bar, Long’s Farmhouse and Kevin Lynch’s Florists.”
Doors open at 6p.m. next Saturday with the first fight at 7p.m.
Tickets are £15 and can be purchased at Ringinmathing Body Piercing Studio, Dacre Terrace.